Help, I have sinned unknowingly!

Well, that's when things went wrong last week. For real? Yes really…and no, not really! It's just how you look at it. For myself I have not really failed, but in the eyes of other IkPassers (and parents of young children?) I may have failed. What happened? Well, I like to cook and I also regularly cook with wine. A week and a half ago, for example, I made a delicious chickpea soup based on an Ottolenghi recipe, so white wine had to be added. To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to buy a small bottle of white wine for the soup, because somehow I was a bit afraid that the wine would not end up in the soup but in a glass. Just in time it occurred to me that I had a bottle of non-alcoholic wine lying around and I used it. That same week I also had a delicious Italian stew on the menu. The meat for the stew had to marinate for 24 hours in red wine with onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme and then stew for 3 hours. Because I have absolutely no experience with alcohol-free red wine, I bought a small bottle of red wine in total innocence and ignorance. That bottle sat in the cupboard untouched for a few days. I was quite proud of myself that I had left the wine to actually cook with it and not consumed it as a liquid treat. However, that proud feeling disappeared like snow in the sun yesterday when, after some research on the internet, I found out to my surprise that part of the alcohol does not break down during cooking. I had always assumed that alcohol completely evaporates during a warm preparation, but on the internet I found messages in several places that contradict this. Well great! Without realizing it, I exposed myself and my wife, both IkPassers, to alcohol, but what I actually find much more embarrassing is that I also exposed my children to alcohol. Now the amount of alcohol that is still present in the food after 3 hours of stewing will be very small, but still. 

Did we enjoy the stew? Yes, well and or! The speed at which the children eat is often a good measure of how much they like it. Well, their plate was empty in no time. Did I have an association with alcohol while eating? No, not at all! I therefore do not experience that my 100-day IkPas Challenge has failed. My IkPas challenge is mainly a mental challenge and not so much a physical one. I have already reduced my alcohol consumption considerably in recent years, so if I unknowingly ingested some alcohol with food, I don't lose any sleep over it. My challenge is much more in breaking habits and raising awareness of the role alcohol plays in my life. It would be a different matter if I knowingly used alcohol in the food as a substitute for alcohol in the glass. But that is not the case. 

No, what I'm more concerned about is the long-term effect this may have on the children. Now it's really not the case that I cook with wine every week, but on average 1 or 2 times a month. The children themselves are not aware that they ingest a small amount of alcohol with the food. But what is the effect on their child's bodies? Does the body create a kind of alcohol memory and have I unknowingly 'poisoned' my children and planted a seed for their alcohol use later in life? Who's to say. And how do they actually deal with this in wine countries such as Italy and France? Countries where, in my opinion, much more is cooked with wine than with us. Do they cook a separate non-alcoholic mash for the children there? I can hardly imagine it. 

The Nutrition Center, an organization with some authority in this field, puts it this way: “If you use alcohol in a dish, some of it evaporates or evaporates, but something always remains behind. As a precaution, we therefore advise not to eat these types of dishes if you are pregnant or give to children.” So as a precaution. It is therefore questionable whether there is still alcohol in a dish that I have simmered for 3 hours, but as a precaution the Nutrition Center advises not to give this to children and pregnant women. In other words, there is apparently no real scientific basis. But if you don't want to take any risks, then it's better not to. Just to be clear, I would never feed my children food in which alcohol has been processed but not heated, such as tiramisu. 

Despite my doubts, I have decided not to cook with alcohol for the remaining IkPas time, but whether I will only use wine in stews again when the youngest is 18…?

Until next week!



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